Monday, March 9, 2009

Let's Get Cookin'

Recently our family schedule has picked up in the crazy department. Two of the kids play volleyball which demands two nights of practice per child at dinner time, to boot. Then two of the girls have dance classes, also at dinner time. Add to that the fact that Mr. O and I like to eat out together on Fridays and Houston, we have a problem.

That problem is how to sit down and eat together, not to mention actually cooking something for everyone to eat. My goal this week is to have healthy food (or basically, just not takeout) for all of us to eat. This may mean we eat at 4:30 two nights a week or at 7 PM. But, I'll figure it out.

Currently, we are suffering from recipe fatigue. It feels like we eat the same stuff all the time even though I rotate it every two weeks. So I'm asking a really big favor - what are your family favorites and do you have recipe suggestions?

Here are some of the things I fix regularly (or used to):
Chicken Enchiladas with white sauce
Thai Spring Rolls
Lemon Pepper Chicken
Spaghetti Pizza
Homemade Pepperoni or Pesto-Veggie Pizza
Chicken and Rice Casserole
Chicken Teriyaki Stir-fry
Shrimp Scampi or Stir-fry
Puck's Chicken (a tomato/Alfredo sauce over farfalle)
Grilled Salmon
Pita Pizzas
Minestrone Soup
Hawaiian Haystacks
And the bad boys: Macaroni or Ramen

Garlic Roasted Veggies
Baked Sweet Potato Fries/Wedges
Carrots and Potatoes
Tropical Fruit Salad
Bread of some sort
Asparagus w/Olive Oil and Prosciutto

All of the above taste really good, but I think we've eaten our fill of them. Please bail us out of our rut and tell us some of your family favorites. Please!

Note: I am definitely open to crock pot ideas (ones that are actually tasty).


M.V. said...

A couple of weeks ago I watched GMA they had a lady that has recipes for crock pots. She cooked in it for a whole year. Here is her link

I haven't tried any recipes yet, but I really want to try to make the Lasagna in the crock pot. I hope this helps you.

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

Here's some fast fixes that we love to have for dinner. Keep in mind that our main meal is lunch so dinner is usually smaller. I'll e-mail you the recipes later today.

*Applebee's Club House Grill
*Pasta i Fagioli (Pasta and beans)
*Homemade Fettucine Alfredo
*Any breakfast type foods: waffles with lots of toppings, pancakes, eggs and toast, etc.
*Oven Quesadillas

Kristina P. said...

OK, I need to come over to your place. McDonalds knows me all too well.

athena said...

that's one thing i hate about sending our kids to school. . . all the afterschool stuff we use to do during the day when we weren't so tired. it interferes with dinner. in answer to your question on my blog about how long to cook foil dinners, it depends on how small you cut the meat and veges. 20-30mins for red meat and 15min for fish. i like to turn the bbq off and leave the food (at least the red meat and veges) to cook in its steam without getting burned for at least another 20mins. sounds like a long time but i can get a lot of other things done during then like driving one of the kids to scouts.

athena said...

by the way i love the look of your blog! you must have just changed it recently.

Jendeis said...

The CrockPot Lady's recipes are great! I especially liked her roast chicken in the crockpot.

I notice you don't have "simple" meals on the list. Our usual meal is protein + starch + veggie/salad. For example, BBQ chicken with brown rice and stewed tomatoes; steak with baked potato and broccoli; MEATLOAF!! (um, I love meatloaf).

What about lasagna? I put shredded squash, carrot or zucchini and chopped spinach with garlic into the cheese mixture to up the veggie factor.

Roblynn and Rebekah said...

For the crockpot we always have a pot full of black beans. Of course here that is the staple. We have to have a typical meal at least once a week. That is black beans, rice, plantains and cabbage salad, maybe some fried plantains. That is something a little different from your menu :)

Mrs. Organic said...

These are all great - please keep the ideas coming.

I did forget to list lasagna, it's one of our Sunday meals. And by way of confession, I don't think I've cooked a single thing in two weeks (except for yesterday)

Wendy's, MickeyDs, and Papa Murphy's probably all know us on a first name basis by now.

Heffalump said...

I just emailed you some recipes.
What I have done is made a master list of all the things I know how to cook and that we like to eat, and then I go through and pick different things for my menu every two weeks. Some things we always have in a two week period (my boys love homemade mac and cheese and the chicken and brocolli lo mein) and other ones we only have a few times a year.
We usually have breakfast of some kind every couple of weeks as well. That would be whole wheat waffles, breakfast burritos, potato latkes, french toast or breakfast sandwiches on bagels.
I also love my crock pot. Something as simple as some frozen boneless chicken and a cup or two of salsa make a great meal served over rice and sprinkled with a little cheese.

Shawn said...

You are more varied than I am. There are only three of us left at home, and I must admit that we do a lot of soup and panini's... sigh...

Mrs. Organic said...

Heff - thank you, thank you!

Shawn - I totally get that, I do. I almost can't wait until I'm only cooking/reheating for two, but then I'm sure I'll wish everyone was back home again.

andrea said...

You are missing the wonder of pulled pork in that line-up. You can get a recipe anywhere. Basically a pork roast cooked in the crock pot in BBQ sauce. That and some Cafe Rio pork and viola, two new, and easy, meals! :) Nothing worse than stuff scheduled around dinner time....ugh! I understand the volleyball, but dance?! Don't the teachers want to eat? :)

Millie said...

I was going to say Crock Pot Lady too. Have you checked out any Taste of Home magazines? I haven't read the other comments - sorry if this is a repeat idea. :)

Mrs. Organic said...

Have you seen those dance teachers? I don't think they ever eat.

Stacy said...

Soups are always good this time of year. We love taco soup, broccoli cheese soup, homemade chicken noodle soup. Yum!

Elizabeth-W said...

Go to and search these recipes that everyone has liked at my house:
Tex-Mex Calzones (pretty easy and fast, too)
Almond-stuffed chicken (also pretty quick)
And what we're having tonight---Chicken Thighs with Olives and Tomato Sauce (this is a crockpot one).

Elizabeth-W said...

Some that I liked from the crockpot 365 were:
applesauce chicken
moroccan lentil stew
and I think she had a good pasta fagioli one--I know it required tabasco sauce.
More cooking light:
Aunt Liz's Chicken spaghetti casserole
Tagine of Chicken and chickpeas
Indian Cashew Chicken (to die for)
Crunchy Buttermilk Coconut Chicken Fingers
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes, and Cheese (a staple)
Enchilada Casserole (this is a crockpot one-easy peasy!)

Mrs. Organic said...

EW - Thanks for the suggestions. I definitely want to try the coconut chicken fingers.

Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

So, are those recipes on your blog somewhere?

Mrs. Organic said...

Lynne - I should've linked to them. Some recipes are on this blog and some are on Tyler's Triumph. Maybe I'll repost with links.